PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
1180 SETON PARKWAY, SUITE 330 KYLE, TX 78640
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Page 1 How Long Until Things Are ‘Normal'?
Page 2 3 Enriching Staycation Ideas
Page 2 Your Guide to the Perfect Virtual Happy Hour
Page 3 Does Gardening Count as Exercise?
Page 4 Word From the Westies
Hours: Monday–Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A TALKING DOG?!
Stella’s New Skills
practice. Thanks to their hard work, Stella has even learned how to put together phrases!
Izzy and Emma here. Today, we want to talk about tricks. Whether it’s the basics like sit and stay, or the more theatrical tricks like shake or play dead, we dogs love to show off our skills. Recently, we learned about a dog from San Diego who knows a pretty good trick herself. She can speak! Stella is a heeler-Catahoula mix who lives with Christina Hunger, a speech-language pathologist. Christina taught Stella all the standard tricks, but when Stella learned to speak, they went a bit farther than just barking. Christina built a soundboard with buttons that play audio recordings of 29 different words. The words include “outside,” “look,” “ball,” and, Stella’s favorite word, “park.” Using this soundboard, Christina has been able to teach Stella how to “talk” to humans.
Christina started the Instagram account @hunger4words to document Stella’s progress. In November 2019, she uploaded a video that showed Stella reacting to a strange sound outside. At first Stella started barking. When that didn’t work, she went to her board. In the video, Stella pressed “outside,” followed by the “look” button nine times, before pressing “come” and “outside.”
Photo by Christina Hunger
The Instagram account is full of videos that show Stella’s growing “conversations.” Check
Stella communicates by pressing the right buttons on the soundboard. For example, if she wants to go outside, Stella goes to her board and presses “outside.” We’d probably press that button a lot ourselves. Christina has been teaching Stella to talk for almost two years by using the same techniques humans use with their children — a lot of time, repetition, and
it out if you want to see some amazing dog tricks. Izzy & Emma
Made with FlippingBook HTML5